We weren’t forgotten after all

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes we can’t help but feel lonely and a bit forgotten down here in Southwest Mississippi.

With no interstate highway and a geographical position that leaves us closer to Louisiana than much of Mississippi, our area doesn’t get a lot of visitors unless those visitors are here to tour antebellum houses.

For years, this region has watched sulkily as economic development projects have sprouted up to our north and east. Gov. Haley Barbour has promised before that he wouldn’t forget about Southwest Mississippi.

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Until Thursday, we weren’t so sure Barbour remembered his own promise.

But news that one of three wood-to-biofuel production sites will be somewhere near Franklin County gives our area the hope it desperately needs.

Details are still unclear, and doubters will surely say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” but this news is better than no news, and for that we are thankful.

A Texas company called KiOR has said it plans to put one of its physical plants somewhere in or near Bude. The company and the state are touting rural Mississippi’s benefits, and rural Mississippi should be proud.

Our state is rich in natural resources; timber is certainly one of them.

It’s great to see what appears to be a targeted recruiting effort focused not on our big cities, but on our natural surroundings.

Those resources, we know, will keep Mississippi in business for decades to come, putting Southwest Mississippi on the economic map, just where it rightfully belongs.